Go to contents

Kim Could Meet China’s President Today

Posted January. 17, 2006 03:59,   


It is reported that North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Il, who has finished visiting southern China, will arrive in Beijing at dawn on January 17 to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and then return home.

A source in Beijing said on January 16, “The express train carrying Chairman Kim left Shenzhen, Guangdongsheng, around 10:00 p.m. on January 15, and there are rumors that it will stop in Shanghai as a stopover, but there are no particular signs on the spot. Maybe he headed straight to Beijing.”

It usually takes 26 to 32 hours by train from Shenzhen to Beijing, so it is expected that Chairman Kim will reach Beijing around dawn on January 17.

According to Chinese railway officials, the inland track of Shenzhen-Changsha-Wuhan- Zhengzhou- Shijiazhuang-Beijing takes 26 hours, while the mid-track of Shenzhen-Nanchang-Hefei-Nanjing-Jinan-Tianjin-Beijing takes about 28 hours, and the coast-track of Shenzhen- Fuzhou-Shanghai-Nanjing-Jinan-Tianjin-Beijing takes about 32 hours.

The source in Beijing added, “When Chairman Kim arrives in Beijing, he will meet with President Hu on the morning of January 17 and depart right afterwards.”

A Korean government official commented, “It is difficult to say anything since the Chinese government does not provide any information whatsoever, but I don’t think there has been a North Korea-China summit meeting, and Chairman Kim seems to be following the coastal track from Shenzhen.”

Some Hong Kong press including Xingdao Daily reported on January 16 that after finishing his visit to Guangdongsheng, Chairman Kim headed to Beijing and will meet with President Hu and other high Chinese party and government officials.

Nevertheless, it is also rumored that Chairman Kim has already met with President Hu and will return straight home without stopping over in Beijing.

Another news source said, “The Koryo airplane that moved with Chairman Kim’s express train was not seen in either Shanghai or Shoudu Airport in Beijing. It is possible that the plane might have landed in a military airbase near Beijing, but there is information that he went back to Pyongyang.”

On the other hand, on January 16, the Japanese periodical Nihon Keizai Shimbum reported that the prolongation of Chairman Kim’s visit to China is proof of North Korea’s confidence in its regime stability.

Yoo-Seong Hwang yshwang@donga.com